SAITAMA - Kevin Durant led Team USA’s victory over France in the men’s basketball final in Tokyo on Saturday, avenging a first-round loss and claiming a 16th gold for the country in the sport.
Durant, who in these Games surpassed Carmelo Anthony as the United States’ highest career scorer, led with 29 points in the 87-82 victory at the Saitama Super Arena.
The U.S. team had been slow to start in previous matches, but they kept the heat on France consistently this time. But it was 18 turnovers that proved to be the killer for France.
“Details cost us the game for sure,” said French team captain Nicolas Batum. “You can’t turnover that much against that type of team.”
The championship attracted the biggest crowd yet in these Games to the arena north of Tokyo, with the bottom bowl of seats about half full of athletes, officials, media and volunteers in place of fans due to COVID-19 restrictions.
France earned their third Olympic silver medal in men’s basketball. Slovenia, making their debut at the Games, will play Australia in the bronze medal match later on Saturday.
The U.S. men have historically been the team to beat, with 15 gold medals since 1936 going into these Games. This championship marks their fourth straight gold medal.